Family Relation

Tough Questions For Edwards And Thompson
November 04, 2007

   John Edwards was the featured guest on ABC's "This Week" today. Here's one question he got from George Stephanopoulos: Sometimes when you talk about [electability] a lot of people listen and say you're slipping into code. You say things like, in Iowa, "picture in your head, each us is running in a tough place"--you, Senator Obama, Senator Clinton--"which one's gonna be more helpful, which one's not? Your instincts will tell you the right answer." A lot of people hear that and say that's some kind of racial/gender code. "Absolutely not," Edwards replied.

Will A Romney Victory In Iowa Matter?
October 29, 2007

Isaac's already linked to Fred Barnes's analysis of the GOP race, but I'll link to it again since it has a handy summary of Mitt Romney's victory scenario: Romney has an early-primary strategy aimed at Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He's poured money into those states, broadcast TV spots, and built organizations. Fox News polls show him leading in Iowa and New Hampshire and a close second in South Carolina. If he wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, he'll have history on his side.

Israel's Existential Threat
October 10, 2007

Ephraim Sneh, a Labor member of Knesset, is an old friend. Actually, in 1970, I'd met (with Henry Rosovsky, David Landes and Michael Walzer) his father, Moshe Sneh, whose biography was quite strange. The elder Sneh had been the commander of the Haganah, the fighting force of pre-independence Israel, and chairman of the post-statehood Communist Party. Ephraim's own career was even more textured. He was, if I remember correctly, a pediatric cardiologist, and continued his work in this field with Palestinian children while he was Civil Administrator of the West Bank.

The Majestic Assassination of Jesse James
October 01, 2007

Gentleman bandit. Heartless killer. Confederate martyr. Rank opportunist. Inspiration. Abomination. Jesse James has been considered all of the above by various people at various times, but Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is largely agnostic regarding such disputes. The film is concerned less with the content of James's character than with the meaning of his murder. Insofar as it asks a question, it is whether a man who has been elevated to myth can continue to coexist with mere mortals.

The Devil's Advocate
September 24, 2007

The sleazy lobbyist who might save the world.

Ahmadinejad To Columbia; Summers Cancelled At Ucal; The World Is Nuts
September 20, 2007

Last year, Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, was persuaded to cancel a speech by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at its School for International and Public Affairs. He had been put in this position by a pip-squeak scholar named Lisa Anderson who runs the School and the Middle East Center but has contributed exactly nothing to scholarship. Professor Anderson's job seems to be to get Bollinger into trouble, as if he hasn't enough to cope with as president.

Blood On The Track

The New York Times, reflecting on the recent day Eliot Spitzer spent at the racetrack, reveals that the New York governor comes by his NASCAR fandom honestly: Ever since he married his North Carolina-born wife, whose brother is a top engineer at Hendrick Motorsports, one of Nascar's top teams, Mr. Spitzer has followed stock car racing, and has made Jeff Gordon, a Hendrick driver, his favorite. Here's the problem, though.

Palmetto State Doings

This Politico article on the Obama campaign says South Carolina will be his "make-or-break test." Meanwhile, via Hotline, I see that Bill and Hillary are donating $100,000 to help build a library in Bennettsville, South Carolina. The library will be named after Marion Wright Edelman who, last I heard, was mad at her old friends Bill and Hillary for their support of welfare reform. (Her husband, Peter Edelman, famously resigned from his Clinton administration post in protest.) Looks like all is forgiven. --Jason Zengerle

All In The Family
July 21, 2007

I read in the newspapers that Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, the first lady of Argentina and a member of the country's senate, may be running for president to succeed her husband. This, of course, brought to mind Argentina's other wife-succeeds-husband presidencies, those of Juan Perón and then Evita Perón, fascist-like extravaganzas, cruel and unserious and corrupt. Which reminds me of Solomon Bandaranaike, he both president and prime minister of Ceylon, later Sri Lanka, and, his wife, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, also prime minister of the country.

Just A Bill

Is it just me, or does embattled Senator Ted Stevens's denial that political supporters paid for his house renovation contain some pretty obvious weasel wordage: "As a practical matter, I will tell you. We paid every bill that was given to us," Stevens said, referring to himself and his wife, Catherine. "Every bill that was sent to us has been paid, personally, with our own money, and that's all there is to it. It's our own money." So, Senator, any chance there might have been a few bills that weren't "given" or "sent" to you?